By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck’s problem with reckless and speeding drivers continues to grow.
On Monday night, at about 10 p.m., a driver described as a male in his mid-20s, was driving at a high rate of speed on Jos. Campau going southbound when he spun out of control at the Caniff intersection and struck a light pole.
The impact sheared off the driver’s side of the car. The driver, who is from Dearborn Heights, was ejected from the car and is now in critical condition. Police Chief Anne Moise said alcohol was a “factor” in the incident. Police declined to release the driver’s name.
No other injuries occurred.
The crash comes two weeks after a 5-year-old child was struck in a hit-and-run on Zinow. That driver was eventually caught, thanks to tips from the public.
The driver and passenger are facing multiple felony charges in the matter. The child is still being treated for his injuries.
As The Review went to press Thursday, it was reported that another 5-year-old was struck by a driver Wednesday morning at around 7:40 a.m. on Miller St. According to the daily incident report released by the Police Department, the driver was a woman wearing a hijab – a headscarf that covers the head and neck but keeps the face clear.
According to the report the woman stopped after striking the child and moved the boy to the sidewalk. The woman then fled eastbound on Miller. The boy’s family took him to a local hospital for treatment.
The issue of speeding and out-of-control drivers was the talk of the town this past summer. There were numerous complaints from residents near Pulaski Park about reckless and speeding drivers. The concern was that the park attracts many children and families and that sooner or later someone would be struck.
The police department increased traffic patrols, and one driver was eventually arrested.
A question heard frequently among residents was: Where are police officers?
The answer isn’t so simple, and not one the department or city officials like to acknowledge openly – although the subject has come up during city council work sessions.
In a nutshell, the department is seriously understaffed because officers tend to get their start in Hamtramck and then soon move on to better-paying departments.
New contract talks have started with the officers’ union, and it is believed that the city will put together a more attractive salary and benefit package.